Fleet News

Byers admits Rover has a tough time ahead

THE Government has admitted that Rover faces a tough future under new ownership due to the highly competitive market. Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers told the House of Commons the deal was 'good news for the workers at Longbridge and the wider community in the West Midlands'.

He added: 'The agreement will preserve volume car manufacture at Longbridge; it will safeguard the majority of jobs there and minimise the knock-on effect in the supply chain.' Following a rollercoaster ride for Rover, its workers, dealers, customers and numerous supplier companies throughout the UK, Byers congratulated Towers on pulling the deal together.

He said no Government aid had been asked for by Phoenix and Byers ruled out any prospect of taxpayers' help, saying: 'There can be no return to interventionism. The corporate state has been tried, and it did not work. It is not the job of Government to intervene in commercial decisions.' Instead, he said, it was the Government which brought Towers and BMW together and it was the Government's job to create an environment which encouraged enterprise and created wealth and jobs.

But, he warned: 'The car industry is a fast-moving global market going through major structural change. These are difficult times for manufacturers throughout the world.'

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